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What am I doing wrong? Ad/Craigslist etiquette help!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by djt820, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. djt820


    Dec 30, 2008
    So I live in Los Angeles and am trying to get a keyboardist, 2 guitarists, and a (preferably female) vocalist together with me and a drummer to start a Pop band. I've been posting on Craigslist for months now and I've only gotten this drummer on board so far.

    Is there a way to grab someone's attention? Is there something wrong with the way my ad is worded? Give me some tips because I'm really at lost here. Any tips/tricks to get members is GREATLY appreciated.

    Here's the ads I have up: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/muc/3131229725.html

    And of course, if you live near L.A. and are interested, hit me up!

  2. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    I'm no expert on getting people to answer CL ads, but I think your pictures are probably a bit much. If you have to have one, I like the one with you looking down the neck through the tuning keys, but the others I'd lose as they aren't going to care what you look like.

    I don't have my headphones so I can't listen to your tunes. Unless they are really poorly recorded, you should keep them there. A lot of people will reject you just because they'll decide they don't like something about your tunes, but you really want to work with people who like them and want to work on them.
  3. kapaauguy


    Dec 12, 2010
    Kawela, Molokai
    Sometimes being very specific about what you want limits your possibilities. It can be difficult to find one other musician who shares your musical vision let alone 4-5.
    I am playing with some really talented guys at the moment who play metal/hard rock which is not really my thing but it's been a blast so i dig it. The ad i put up to get with these guys said i'll play anything but country or reggae (no disrespect!) as long as it grooves and has an edge. If i had been much more specific they would have never called me and who knows? maybe i missed out on a cool country or reggae gig! lol Start by looking for a guitarist and be open to possibilities! The direction you might end up with might be way cooler than the one you originally intented on.
  4. masonsjax

    masonsjax Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    I think it's well worded. I would just add some detail about what your goals are. Are you looking to jam in a garage, play college parties for beer, weekend pub gigs, tour circuit, worldwide fame and fortune? Do you have any management or booking agent contacts, or other prospective work lined up? Do you want to record, and if so do you have a budget for that? Are you looking for creative input on new original songs, or you just need players to execute what you've written? Do you have rehearsal space lined up and own a PA? Just elaborate a little on exactly what you're looking for and you might get more responses.
  5. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    Just a couple notes.
    - You could put your needs all into one ad: "Seeking two guitarist, a keyboard player and a female vocalist".

    - You could put down the age range of people you are looking for, like "looking for band members preferably between # to #". You look like you could be in high school. Are you? You aren't going to get musicians in their 20s looking to join a band full of high schoolers (or you might).

    - Add the goals of your band. "Looking for a band to record original indie pop music", "Looking for a band to play indie pop music gigs at local venues", "Starting a band that will record and play gigs", "Starting a band to eventually play weddings and bar mitzvahs", "looking for serious musicians who want to eventually tour nationally, "band will be playing Southern Rock covers at local bars, no dreamers".
  6. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Scratch the pictures, like someone else stated. It looks like you're all about you. Sorry if its cold, its just my reaction.....the pictures don't help. Noobish sort of.

    Then, maybe put in two or three bands you like. I like this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this doesn't work. What if someone only likes 5 of the myriad of bands you posted? See what I mean?

    Other folks have made good comments on what you could add to make it better.
  7. I'm not sure that all of the advice here is worth pursuing.

    Think of of it this way: what would draw a keyboardist into playing with you?

    Keyboardists tend to be very in demand. They really don't need to seek out other players, as they typically have multiple offers, especially if they're any good. Why would they join up with a bass player who doesn't have a band together yet? What can you offer a keyboard player?

    If you're looking to start up a band with a vision, it's a whole lot easier to use connections with people who know your playing. Trying to find a keyboardist on CL without a good solid band already in place is very difficult to do. That said, you might get lucky. Just don't get your hopes up.

    My suggestion is to try to find other avenues. Are you part and/or active in a local music scene? Do you regularly go out to jam nights or catch local bands at small clubs that you like? Start networking the old fashioned way - get away from the computer and go see bands. Go talk to them after the show, give 'em a card that you printed up for free at Vistaprint.com. You live in L.A. There's surely a scene somewhere that fits your style. Find it, become part of it.

    Building a band to suit your vision by contacting strangers off the internet is nearly impossible. Building a band to suit your vision through friends and your network of musicians is very achievable. Once you have something going, then use CL to fill in a couple of musical gaps. A keyboards is TONS more likely to respond once they see that you have something going on instead of just yourself.
  8. Blunt feedback:

    Your pictures, all posed and only of you (even though you're the only band member, this is just an impression), you might come off as a bit diva-ish and spotlight hogging.

    Reading the ad, it's obviously not your intention, but I'm just rattling off the first thing impression I got, from the photos.
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    If you're looking to do all your own material, then I'd say you're doing pretty good thus far. You found yourself a drummer. Most people want one of 3 things. To be paid. To be playing their own stuff. To be playing in an already established band. Not having any of those 3 makes it incredibly difficult to find people. It's going to simply be a waiting game.

    If it were my ad, I'd put as little info as possible, and then try to connect with people. If you're open to collaboration and don't need or want to be the main guy, I wouldn't put the music clips up. I'd try to hook up with people with the same influences.

    Last note, and just my opinion. Your voice is a bit quirky. I was amused by it, liked it, and thought it was unique, but I could easily see others possibly not liking it. Which isn't a bad thing. But I think it might possibly limit the people you attract.
  10. Corbeau


    Dec 14, 2011
    I agree with the others - the photos are a bit too much. It makes it look like the project is completely yours and other members are just there to play only your material. From reading the ad, it doesn't sound like that is your intention, but it's easy to pick up that vibe.

    If you are open to the idea of other musicians adding in their parts to your songs, or are open to collaborative songwriting, then it's a good thing to emphasise. I've found that musicians generally like the idea that they can contribute to songs, instead of feeling more like a hired gun. When they feel the latter, they are more likely to hang around.
  11. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    +1, as soon as I seen the pics I did not even read the ad. I would also take down the songs YOU did and maybe post a few youtube clips to you preferred music!
  12. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    +1, I would NEVER join a band with a LEADER, everyone's input is valuable IMO
  13. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I spent almost a year with a singer/keyboardist trying to get a cover band going. All we needed was a good drummer and guitarist. Couldn't get anyone. The people who did want to join were not up to snuff; the people who were up to snuff would say, "Well, call me back when you have a drummer" (if a guitarist) or vice versa (if a drummer). Nine or ten months of this and we could never get four people in the same room at the same time, and finally abandoned the project.

    The point being, creating a startup from scratch is hard, indeed next to impossible. It's not that something is wrong with your ad, it's your situation. If you're relying on craigslist to recruit the whole band, that immediately says that you don't know anyone. If you don't know anyone, you probably don't have any experience, no contacts, probably don't have a PA... may or may not be true, but that's what I would assume. So people are going to pass. If a person DOES show up, it's you and him, alone in your basement with a lot of talk about this great band you want to start but no reality to it - and the other guy will say, "call me again when you have some more people." By the time you have the other people he will have moved on to another project.

    So what do you do? Network. Go audition for other people's bands that seem like they might be interesting. You may find a great project you want to be a part of, or at the least you get to meet folks. Maybe there's someone out there trying to launch a band with drums and guitar but they don't have a bassist. Go to open mics and jam with people. If you're a regular, they'll get to know you.

    I'd also suggest, instead of a whole big ad calling for the creation of an entire band from scratch, put something more low-key out there, just that you want to jam with folks and the kinds of things you like. If you get together with a guitarist to jam a few times, that's cool. Then after a few weeks maybe you find a drummer who wants to jam too. If everyone clicks over a couple of months, you say, "Hey, let's work up some originals and try playing them out." But if you "audition" a guitarist for a band that doesn't exist, you'll get "call me later."
  14. DBCrocky


    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    Get some gigs. Any kind of gigs. Nothing will bring in members and get things going quicker than already having gigs.
  15. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I think allot of it has to do with the type of music you are doing...not that that is a bad thing mind you. I'm in an Americana band and even that narrows down the amount of traffic we got when we were looking for a drummer on CL. If we were pop, metal, punk top 40 or classic rock we would have had allot of hits. You are looking for a select group who like off mainstram music and that's not easy. I also agree lose the pics.
  16. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Excellent post.
  17. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    +1 to this advice- I NEVER respond to any CL ad- where it is readily apparent that it is someone who is only looking for people to carry out there vision. THIS only works if you are a real "star" like Lenny Kravitz or something- not for someone who noone has likely heard of.
    I look for one thing a "real" established band with gigs who need a bass player in the styles I enjoy playing.
  18. honestly I kinda like it, I would say that I know what you are looking for in your voice (smiths meets the cure, but with a baritone vocal range) and it simply not working, from a singers perspective. you are falling a bit flat on those bottom notes of your song with four hundred and something plays, I think it's the second one. I don't know if you are comfortable in that range and maybe you were just born a tenor. I think it's good for people to have something to hear to see if they like the music you like, I would be on the same boat as "put up already known artists as example of what you want to play". also nix the pics. oh that rhymed. that's not ok....
  19. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    I play a little keyboards but never would respond to this ad. As others have said, its the pictures. After viewing, my first impression is that they are vainity photos and its all about you. Looks like a perfect stage for dreaded band drama before I even join the group. One photo is fine and informative so people can get an idea of what age group you are in.
  20. Lose the pictures. Seriously. Not for nothing, they make you seem a little, as the comic Carlos Mencia might say, "Deet De-Dee."

    Also, you need to specify whether you are looking to put a cover, or original band together. Or some combination of each.
    Most people reading the ad would assume it's an originals thing, with no gigs, by a bass player who's a bit of a (nothing personal, just my opinion about what others might think), kook.

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